Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

HK is a constantly changing place. People come and go; those who stay rarely reside in the same address for more than 2 years. I've been in HK for 5 years now, living in the same neighborhood (though not the same building throughout). Last week I realized I know most of the people around me. I walked to the supermarket and met several parents from little boy's school. I said hi to the resident handyman, barber and cashier from the supermarket. The staff from the magazine shop, laundromat and Italian deli all know me. A photo shop assistant recognized me in Soho one day, a year after their shop closed. The security guards from our old building still wave to little boy whenever they see him. I truly feel I am part of the neighborhood, a regular fixture, if you will, of the ever changing Mid-Levels landscape. It makes Hk feel even more like home, and will make leaving in the future much, much harder to bear.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Just waxing nostalgic

I recently found out my little boy's 2 lower teeth are wobbly. He's going to get a visit from the tooth fairy soon. This can only mean one thing: I don't have a baby anymore. It's the first step to semi-adulthood, and I don't want to think of what will happen when he discovers the dreaded 3 G's: gangs, gimmicks, girls. Some will say it's too early to worry, but the years can pass very quickly, and before you know it 2 wobbly teeth can lead to a mouth full of permanent teeth, which means the spontaneous hugs and kisses I receive daily will dwindle down to nothing... I better enjoy it while I can.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Crazy for you

Thinking back to my younger years, I realize how crazy I am about books and reading. In grade 4, at 10 years old, I had finished almost the entire Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series (that's hundreds of books, and to this day, I love mysteries and crime thrillers and stories about psychos!), and was starting on Mills and Boon and Loveswept (a bit early to start reading about steamy sex scenes, yes, but I skipped those all the time). In grade 5 I finished all the Barbara Cartland books I could lay my hands on (and thus started my decades-old affair with Old England, castles, rolling green fields, horses, contained passion, swashbuckling knights and damsels in distress). In grade 6 it was Sweet Dreams and Sweet Valley High, in my early high school years it was Jude Deveraeaux, Nora Roberts, Iris Johansen and the like. One time I discovered M.M. Kaye's epic THE FAR PAVILLIONS, and despite being almost, or more than, a thousand pages long, I greedily feasted on it and finished in less than a week! Later on I became bored with all the historical romances and fairytale endings and started reading "heavier" books, those that required me to think and reflect and not just squeal in delight when the guy gets the girl. Now I enjoy reading books by travelers and adventurers, food critics and chefs, historians and Asians; books about China, food, Victorian England, intelligent fantasy books, mysteries, thrillers, classics, exotic locales, science, war, finance and pretty much anything I can borrow, buy, beg for and in rare instances, am given as a gift.

Books feed my brain and nourish my soul. They cut boredom, stop time, take me places, fire my imagination, and make life much more pleasant and much less the routine it is. I can live without TV but not without books. I discovered them at a very young age, and will continue to be drawn in until my eyesight gives up.

So here's to authors the world over, thank you for cementing those thoughts on paper for book-crazy people like me.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

For the sake of love

In my 31 years of existence I have cultivated a few fears and phobias. I'd like to think of myself as an intrepid adventurer, but there are two things that make me quiver and shiver every time.

1. lizards of all shapes, kinds and sizes, even toy lizards and pictures of lizards
2. heights, especially when riding cable cars, flying in planes, or looking down from a dizzying height, say, in a mall a mere 5 storeys high

I've semi-conquered my fear of heights mainly because hubby and little boy love riding cable cars, and because I love to travel. How else will I get to places, right? I can't very well simmer and stew on a half-year voyage in a ship.

Lizards are another thing...I thought I would fear them forever, in my own illogical way. And my fear is something I think they sense, because they tend to jump out of car roofs, from under bags in a bazaar, onto silly, 'fraidy cat me. They show themselves to me wherever I go. Hubby laughs and says I'm being paranoid, but hey, how many people out there have had lizards saying hello from cars and bags, huh?

Now the darned thing is, little boy loves animals. He used to be fond of elephants and all sorts of cats but his true loves are, you guessed it, REPTILES. He has three pet turtles back in Manila, and countless giant dinosaur, snake, crocodile, lizard and alligator toys in his room. So here I am, the woman who fears them like crazy, the girl who didn't speak to a primary school friend for a week because she put a rubber lizard in my uniform pocket, the mom who didn't give her son any milk for a night because a lizard was in her tiny kitchen, the one who screams upon touching any page where lizards abound -- allowing my son to play with the creatures on my bed, and bravely touching a toy crocodile.

Oh, what mothers do for love.:)